Blarina carolinensis - (Bachman, 1837)
Southern Short-tailed Shrew
Other English Common Names: southern short-tailed shrew
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Blarina carolinensis (Bachman, 1837) (TSN 179968)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.902827
Element Code: AMABA03020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Mammals - Other Mammals
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Soricomorpha Soricidae Blarina
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Benedict, R. A., H. H. Genoways, and J. R. Choate. 2006. Taxonomy of short-tailed shrews (genus Blarina) in Florida. Occasional Papers, Museum of Texas Tech University (251):1-19.
Concept Reference Code: B06BEN01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Blarina carolinensis
Taxonomic Comments: Blarina carolinensis formerly was regarded as conspecific with B. brevicauda; it was regarded as a distinct species by Jones et al. (1992) and Hutterer (in Wilson and Reeder 1993, 2005).

George et al. (1986) stated that Blarina carolinensis shermani may be an isolated subspecies or a distinct species. Given the extent of morphological differentiation and a paucity of possible hybrids with carolinensis, Benedict et al. (2006) recognized Blarina shermani as a distinct species.

Hutterer (in Wilson and Reeder 2005) recognized Blarina peninsulae as a species distinct from B. carolinensis, based on distinct karyotype and distinct morphology (George et al. 1982, Genoways and Choate 1998) and presence of a contact zone between the two taxa (see Genoways and Benedict, in Wilson and Ruff 1999). However, a morphological study by Benedict et al. (2006) found that carolinensis and peninsulae are not well differentiated and show evidence of intergradation. Benedict et al. (2006) recommended that peninsulae be retained as a subspecies of Blarina carolinensis.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 26Jun2007
Global Status Last Changed: 04Nov1996
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Sep1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S5), Arkansas (S5), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S5), Illinois (S5), Kentucky (S5), Louisiana (S4), Mississippi (S5), North Carolina (S5), Oklahoma (S3), South Carolina (SNR), Texas (S4), Virginia (S5)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Current known distribution is from Virginia to southern Illinois, southward to eastern Texas (Baumgardner et al. 1992) and southern Florida (McCay 2001)..

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Current known distribution is from Virginia to southern Illinois, southward to eastern Texas (Baumgardner et al. 1992) and southern Florida (McCay 2001)..

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, FL, GA, IL, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TX, VA

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History
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Diagnostic Characteristics: A small BLARINA; usually distinguished by an occipito-premaxillary length < 20 millimeters and cranial breadth < 111.5 millimeters (McCay 2001). See Carraway (1995) for a key to western North American C soricids based primarily on dentaries.
Reproduction Comments: Breeding season: spring-late summer (as early as February in Texas). Gestation lasts probably 21-30 days. Litter size: 5-7, with 2-3 or more litters per year. Few live as long as 2 years.
Ecology Comments: Average home range size 0.96 hectares (n=7); maximum movement of 603 meters (Faust et al. 1971). Multiple individuals may use a common burrow system. Usually more abundant than other shrews in its range (McCay 2001). A population in South Carolina fluctuated dramatically between years; higher populations were correleated with moist summers and presumably higher invertebrate prey, and lower populations correlated with extended drought (Gentry et al. 1971, Smith et al. 1974).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow, Forest - Conifer, Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Grassland/herbaceous, Old field, Savanna, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris, Standing snag/hollow tree
Habitat Comments: Various upland and wetland habitats, including moist deciduous woods, brushy areas, pine woodland and forest, mixed oak-pine-juniper woods, grassy situations, densely wooded floodplains. May favor areas with abundant leaf litter and fallen logs (Baumgardner et al. 1992). Nest sites are probably under logs, stumps and other debris.
Adult Food Habits: Carnivore, Herbivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Carnivore, Herbivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Small vertebrates as well as large numbers of invertebrates (which may be immobilized by toxic saliva), and some vegetable matter. May cache some food (e.g., snails) for later use.
Adult Phenology: Circadian
Immature Phenology: Circadian
Phenology Comments: Like all shrews, may be seen day and night.
Length: 15 centimeters
Weight: 22 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Shrews

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: An area of suitable habitat where there is evidence of presence (or historical presence), with potential for continued presence; evidence minimally including a specimen or, in the case of certain species, a determination by a reliable observer of a live specimen in the hand.
Separation Barriers: Arbitrarily set at rivers wider than 50 meters at low water. Some shrews are relatively strong, active swimmers (notably SOREX PALUSTRIS, S. BENDIRII, SOREX ALASKANUS). No data on dispersal or other movement across water barriers.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Dispersal distances of shrews are poorly known, but these mammals are mobile enough to cover fairly large distances. Mature males especially may wander widely (Hawes 1977). Separation distance for suitable habitat attempts to reflect the small home range size of shrews, their secretive habits and consequent apparent absence in areas where they do in fact occur, and the seemingly low probability that two occupied locations separated by a gap of less than several kilometers of suitable habitat would represent independent populations.

Home ranges small: for breeding SOREX VAGRANS in British Columbia, 338 - 5261 square meters (Hawes 1977); in California, mean of about 372 square meters (Ingles 1961); for breeding S. MONTICOLUS (=OBSCURUS) in British Columbia, mean of 4020 square meters (Hawes 1977); for S. ARANEUS in England, a fall and winter home range of about 2800 square meters, with females occupying exclusive ranges (Buckner 1969).

Date: 21Sep2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 26Jun2007
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 08Feb1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • French, T. W. 1981. Notes on the distribution and taxonomy of short-tailed shrews (genus Blarina) in the southeast. Brimleyana (6):101-110.

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  • HAYDEN, D.C. AND W.F. MACCALLUM. 1976. EFFECTS OF PROLONGED FLOODING ON SMALL MAMMAL POPULATIONS IN AN AREA OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI RIVER VALLEY. J. MISS. ACAD. SCI. 21:84-88.

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  • See SERO listing

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